Most affordable housing markets
Indianapolis come in first among big cities; Los Angeles dead last. Nearly 200 markets rated according to income and home prices.
By Les Christie, staff writer

NEW YORK ( - Indianapolis was the leader among all major U.S. cities for housing affordability during the first quarter of 2006, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

More than 90 percent of homes in the Indiana capital were affordable to families earning the median income for the area of about $65,100.

In Los Angeles, the least affordable big metro area, only 1.9 percent of the homes sold were within the reach of families earning a median income for the city of $56,200.

For the United States as a whole, housing grew less affordable over the past 12 months.

NAHB president David Pressley said, "The latest HOI (housing affordability index) shows that only 41.3 percent of new and existing homes that were sold during this year's first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income. This is down from just over 50 percent of all homes sold in the first quarter of 2005."

In addition to housing prices and family income the survey bases its index on interest rates. First-quarter housing affordability was virtually unchanged compared with the fourth quarter of 2005 because slightly higher family income and a small dip in home prices were offset by an increase in mortgage loan interest rates.

Among all cities, including smaller ones, Lansing, Michigan ranked as the most affordable metro area surveyed. Some 92.7 percent of all homes sold there could be bought by families earning the median income in town.

The Midwest dominated the top 10 list with Davenport, Iowa second at 92.3 percent and Lima, Ohio third at 91.2 percent. Only one other region cracked the top 10 with Cumberland, Maryland representing the South at 88.2 percent.

The most unaffordable markets were almost all in California with Santa Ana (2.5) and Santa Barbara (3.2) just a tiny bit more affordable than LA. The New York metro area, the only non-Golden State in the bottom 10, came in tenth, tied with Nassau-Suffolk, New York, at 6.1 percent. Top of page

Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?